12 Twitter Dos and Don’ts

1. DO respond back to users who engage with you.

The greatest benefit of social media is not just that it allows your target audience to interact with your brand, but that you can, and should, interact back with them. This is especially true if the mention is favorable. Tweet thanks, promotions, or tips to people who show interest in your brand. It is also important to take negative feedback seriously, but be cautious with your response – it could go well, or backfire. Always be professional.

2. DO Tweet share-able content

It is important to keep your fans engaged with you, switching up types of content is a very effective way to do just that. Focusing on share-able content like infographics, original pictures, and video is very effective and will help spread your message outside of your network.

3. DO listen

If someone says something positive about you or makes a negative comment about a competitor they oftentimes will not tag you or them. You can use simple Boolean operators in tools like HootSuite, or even from the Twitter search bar to zero in on conversations around your brand. Just be careful not to be too creepy in your responses.

4. DO Make a great profile

Many brands often neglect the profile on their personal page, but this is an important piece to explaining to users who you are. Use a good, high quality logo and header image , fill in the bio with a brief explanation, and – most importantly – link to your website.

5. DO Be consistent

This should seem obvious, but it is surprising how many brands make this fatal flaw. If you have a team managing your account, tweet with ‘one voice.’ Meaning, users should not notice a different style of communicating or language from day-to-day. Also, don’t leave your account inactive for days at a time. You should be posting regularly without large gaps so users know you are there.

6. DO Retweet

Retweeting from accounts relevant to your followers isn’t just a great way to diversify your content, it is also a great way to build relationships with other brands, bloggers, and news outlets. Note: Always be sure to give credit to those whose content you retweet.

7. DON’T use excess abbreviations, poor grammar, or spelling

The basic rule of thumb here is ‘if you wouldn’t send it in an email to the boss or a client, don’t tweet it.’ Perception is huge on Twitter and users measure quality content by how it appears. Abbreviations like ICYMI and FYI are great and leaving out punctuation like apostrophes, commas, and periods is a necessary evil, but steer clear of things you’d see in your teenage daughter’s text messages like b4, gr8, 2, u, and so on…

8. DON’T forget the ‘dot rule’

This is, without a doubt, the top mistake I see made on Twitter. If you start a tweet with an @ reply but aren’t responding to another user you have to put a ‘.’ before the @ sign or only your followers that follow that user will see the tweet. Another workaround is to simply reword the sentence to not start with the user’s name.

9. DON’T ask people to ‘DM for more info’

This a problem for a few reasons. First, users who may want to get more information won’t likely be able to DM you because you must be following that user for them to send you a private message which leads to the uncomfortable ‘hi, I want to DM you but you need to follow me’ tweet that you will probably just ignore anyway. Secondly, and probably more importantly, it doesn’t look professional. Create a page on your company website with the information and place it there.

10. DON’T tweet too close together

With tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck to schedule your tweets, this is a problem that we should have moved on from long ago. Fewer things will get you an irritated mention from a follower quicker than a tidal wave of 10 tweets rolling through there feed within minutes of each other. Spacing your tweets out also allows you to catch users who are online at different times of day.

11. DON’T send automated direct messages.

You may think it is cool and very helpful that you signed for a service that allows you to deliver an identical message to every single user who follows you, but you couldn’t be more wrong

These messages are annoying, create a bad experience for users, and just spam. Social media is about personalized engagement and nothing is further than that telling a user to go to your website or your Facebook page through a robotic DM.

Just don’t do it.

12. #DON’T #over-#hashtag

Hashtags are a great tool to reach users out of your network that are interested in your niche, but using three or more hashtags in each tweet will likely result in users overlooking them and they make your tweets harder to read.

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